Lord of the Rings Fridge Poem

Years and years ago we got one of those poetry magnet sets in Finnish. Judging from the words included, it was a “love and romance”-themed set. We had fun playing with it for a while, but there’s only so many poems you can make about “forbidden lips” and “tender roses” before you get bored. So, what to do? How about scrounging through the words you’ve got and coming up with a Lord of the Rings poem instead?

A weak man understands trembling

The ring whispers

An eternal red eye flashes

Must walk towards it

Fiery pain

Night

Precious

The great white woman gives a candle

Noble hope

A brave friend

Close

A high clear moment

My good garden

 

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade – A Fan Film par Excellence

More fan projects from the Star Wars universe! This short, unofficial, non-profit Han Solo fan film really nails the mood and attitude:

Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade – A Star Wars Fan Film by Jamie Costa

The story is by Nathaniel Nauert, and the screenplay is by Nauert plus Jared Bell and Keith Allen. Allen also directed the short.

The production did a fantastic job with propping, lighting, sounds, music, and effects. Nice work!

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Jyn Erso’s Crystal Necklace DIY-ed

It’s a little over a month since Rogue One came out, and my head’s still firmly in the Star Wars universe. I was therefore delighted to run into this version of Jyn Erso’s crystal necklace:

Jenuine Mom jyn-erso-kyber-crystal-necklace-finis3-768x1225
Jennifer Marx at Jenuine Mom

It’s made by Jennifer Marx at Jenuine Mom – isn’t it great?

I don’t remember there being any gold at the top of Jyn’s crystal, though – an excuse to see Rogue One again, oh boy! 🙂 Nevertheless, this version looks elegant enough to wear every day, not just for cosplay or fan events.

Check out Jennifer’s tutorial for more!

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

Seasonal and Geeky Trees

Here’s a few of our favorite brilliant and inventive Christmas trees from around the web.

A hilarious Cookie Monster Christmas tree by imgur user enhydralutris45:

imgur enhydralutris45 Cookie Monster Christmas Tree

An ingenious Star Wars tree by Amy at DIY Candy (with how-to instructions):

161221starwars

Kathryn Burnett’s fantastic Harry Potter tree (from North News via Bored Panda):

161221hp

And finally, a little less extravagant but no less charming, a small Hunger Games tree from Hunger Games Lessons, with a helpful how-to:

161221hg

We’re vacationing for a week or so. Until then, Happy Merry!

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Scandi-Style Stormtrooper Sweaters

A speed-knitter and a Star Wars fan? There might still be time to make one of these awesome stormtrooper sweaters for Rogue One opening!

Etsy NatelaDaturaDesign Stormtrooper Sweater
NatelaDaturaDesign on Etsy

Both the instant download patterns and finished knits are by Natela Astakhova at NatelaDaturaDesign on Etsy. Just glancing at it, my eye read the pattern as your generic Scandinavian circular yoke sweater, then I did a double take. As I already said, awesome!

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

Folk-ish Steampunk Music: Abney Park

Steampunk is something I only dabble with from time to time, not a steady favorite. That’s why I wasn’t expecting much when I saw someone recommend a steampunk band called Abney Park, but I nevertheless checked out the video the person linked to. Then I listened to another song. And another. Then life intervened. A couple of days later I noticed myself humming something I didn’t immediately recognize. Eventually I figured out it was “Tribal Nomad,” one of the Abney Park videos I’d seen:

Tribal Nomad | Official Video | Abney Park | Steampunk Post-Apocalyptic Music by abneypark

If it sticks so efficiently, I figured there has to be something to it and poked around more. I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of their visuals, but the combination of folk plus industrial instruments has really grown on me. Also, Abney Park isn’t stuck with one style but has great variety. For example, “The Clone Factories” has more techno / trance overtones:

The Clone Factories | Abney Park | Wasteland by abneypark

They also have a version of a popular Russian folk song “Katyusha”:

Katyusha – Song from Abney Park’s new album, The Circus At The End Of The World by abneypark

No wonder it seems like Abney Park’s got it down: they’ve been around since 1997 and have almost two dozen albums under their belt. Nice going.

I will definitely adding Abney Park to my playlists!

Found via Nörttitytöt. Thanks for the rec, Mikko!

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

Hidden Youth Illustrations Roundup

The anthology Hidden Youth, with Erik’s story “How I Saved Athens from the Stone Monsters”, is expeced in November. We don’t know exactly when yet, but we know that the file has been sent to the printer. It’s very exciting—almost there!

I rounded up some of the artwork commissioned for the collection, but first here’s my headcanon picture for “Stone Monsters.”

In the beginning of “Stone Monsters,” there’s a scene where Mnestra, one of the protagonists who works as a flute girl, uses her veil to try and attract customers. I don’t think it was Erik’s intention, but the scene immediately brought to my mind this amazing, dynamic Greek statue we’d seen years ago at The Met:

The Met Bronze Veiled Masked Dancer

Bronze statuette of a veiled and masked female dancer, c. 3rd-2nd century BCE.

When thinking about “Stone Monsters,” this is the image that I connect with the story. Unfortunately the dancer’s veil is drawn so close that we can’t see her face. That’s where the Hidden Youth artists come to the rescue. I just happened to see this sneak peek by Paula Arwen Owen of her papercut illustration for “Stone Monsters” on Twitter:

Twitter Arwen Designs Stone Monsters Papercutting Sneak Peek

That’s eggplant and egg, all right, with a herma in the background. 🙂 Love it!

Then I was curious and went looking for Hidden Youth art. Others have also posted glimpses of their work in progress. For example, Ellen Million:

Instagram Ellen Million Hidden Youth

(She’s shared a slightly bigger photo as well.)

Two girls by Veleries / Thio Wina Oktavia:

Twitter Veleries Hidden Youth

Kat Weaver’s dormitory(?) sketch:

Twitter Kat Weaver Hidden Youth

A sneak peek by A. D’Amico:

Twitter A DAmico Hidden Youth

A glimpse of Jay Bendt’s piece:

Tumblr Jay Bendt Hidden Youth

And, finally, Charis Loke’s almost finished illustration:

Twitter Charis Loke Hidden Youth

They all look so great—can’t wait to have the book in my hands!

Images: Bronze statuette by Eppu Jensen (Greece; c. 3rd-2nd century BCE; bronze). Papercutting by Paula Arwen Owens via Twitter. Attic room by Ellen Million via Instagram. Two girls by Thio Wina Oktavia via Twitter. Dormitory by Kat Weaver via Twitter. Street seller by A. D’Amico via Twitter. Leaning girl by Jay Bendt via Tumblr. Under clouds by Charis Loke via Twitter.

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.


Generating Secondary World Maps with Pasta

Remember Uncharted Atlas, the online tool to autogenerate fantasy world maps with? If that feels too convoluted or restrictive, there’s also a quick low-tech solution. Tumblr user ohemult describes how to make maps with pasta (and expletives):

Tumblr ohemult Mapping3

“BETTER, BUT NOT FUCKING GOOD! WHATEVER, TRACE THE COASTLINE WITH YOUR PENCIL. BE SURE TO BE SLIGHTLY SQUIGGLY AND, OH, FUCK THOSE LITTLE ISLANDS YOU MADE THEY’RE NOT BIG ENOUGH TO BE WOBBLY ENOUGH SO YOU’RE BETTER OFF USING EITHER RICE (OR SIMILAR) OR JUST TRY TO MAKE SOME REALISTIC FUCKING ISLANDS (SPOILER: YOU WON’T)”

(I find that ohemult’s instructions work best if I imagine Samuel L. Jackson reading them as his Pulp Fiction character.)

Visit Tumblr for the full write-up. Found via Tor.com.

Image by ohemult via Tumblr

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

Autogenerating Fantasy World Maps with Uncharted Atlas

Autogenerating fantasy world maps is now possible with an incredible online tool coded by Martin O’Leary.

Uncharted Atlas Map
An autogenerated map for a fantasy world, including slopes, borders, coastlines, rivers, cities, and territories, created with Uncharted Atlas. Coding by Martin O’Leary

Currently mainly existing to feed material to the Uncharted Atlas twitterbot, the tool and its code are available for others as well.

Says O’Leary:

“I wanted to make maps that look like something you’d find at the back of one of the cheap paperback fantasy novels of my youth. I always had a fascination with these imagined worlds, which were often much more interesting than whatever luke-warm sub-Tolkien tale they were attached to.

“At the same time, I wanted to play with terrain generation with a physical basis. There are loads of articles on the internet which describe terrain generation, and they almost all use some variation on a fractal noise approach, either directly (by adding layers of noise functions), or indirectly (e.g. through midpoint displacement). These methods produce lots of fine detail, but the large-scale structure always looks a bit off. Features are attached in random ways, with no thought to the processes which form landscapes. I wanted to try something a little bit different.”

Uncharted Atlas also generates names for cities, towns, and regions with a separate bit of code, following a set of consistent rules. For an explanation of how it works and to try your own hand at it, see the terrain notes and language notes.

As a user, I’d like to see a way to connect several of these individual maps into a larger unity, but that’s getting ahead of things—just having a free tool like this is fantastic. 🙂 Kudos!

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.